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Academic Integrity

Academic values for undergraduate students and Faculty

All DKU programs are closely connected with Duke University through faculty and the fact that DKU programs offer Duke University credits and Duke University degrees. For this reason, the academic values of faculty and students at DKU and the policies and procedures that govern faculty and student conduct are based on and integrated with those of Duke University.

Academic Code of Conduct

All DKU students are responsible for adhering to the DKU Community Standard that states: Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is a community comprised of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We are dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability. Members of this community commit to reflecting upon and upholding these principles in all academic and non-academic endeavors and to protecting and promoting a culture of integrity and trust. To uphold the DKU Community Standard


  • I will hold myself to the highest standards for honesty, integrity, fairness, and responsibility in my academic and non-academic endeavors
  • I will respect other cultures and embrace all forms of diversity
  • I will uphold the standards if they are compromised.

Upholding Academic Integrity and Community Standards

Each student admitted to DKU is required to sign the Community Standard before classes begin. The DKU Community Standard (DCS) stresses the commitment that students share with all members of the community to enhance the climate for honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability at DKU. Students affirm their commitment to foster this climate by signing a pledge that includes taking constructive action if they witness or know about behavior they perceive to be inconsistent with the DCS, which may include violation of university policies. Although there are no disciplinary sanctions associated with the failure to act, students are nonetheless expected to take appropriate action as a responsibility of membership in the DKU Community. The university recognizes that it is not always easy to act in these situations, but several alternatives are available to suit a student’s level of comfort and confidence.

These alternatives are not mutually exclusive, such as:

  • For incidents involving social behaviors, alerting residence hall, Student Affairs, or other university staff. The information provided will give staff an opportunity to address the matter informally or through appropriate formal channels.
  • For cases involving academic integrity, alerting the instructor that cheating may be occurring in the course. This alert can be in any form, including anonymous notification, and the reporting student will not be identified. The information provided will allow the faculty member to consider corrective measures, in consultation with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Directly alerting the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, who will confer with the faculty member involved, if an academic issue, or with other parties as appropriate to the situation, to strategize the best next steps. Maintaining the confidentiality of the source is possible, but may limit the extent of action that can be taken.

Academic Integrity

All DKU students are responsible for adhering to the Duke Kunshan University (DKU) Community Standard as set forth in the DKU Student Handbook and the DKU Undergraduate Programs Bulletin. Students are responsible for maintaining high standards of academic honesty and personal integrity in all matters, including reporting the results of their studies and research, completing assignments, and taking quizzes, tests, and examinations. When confronted with a possible violation of academic integrity, it is important that faculty members deal fairly and consistently with students.


The University’s disciplinary process is independent of, and in addition to, an instructor’s decision on how to grade academically dishonest work. Instructors are expected to communicate with students their policy regarding grading of an academically dishonest assignment (e.g., zero on the assignment, reduced/failing grade for the course, or other approach). An instructor may only implement this penalty if the student has accepted responsibility for academic dishonesty (by accepting the penalty) or has been found responsible for such through the proceedings of the Undergraduate Academic Review Board (UARB).

Any case reviewed by the UARB shall be kept strictly confidential and only those parties involved in investigating and resolving the case should know the details of the case and its resolution.


Violations of academic integrity that occur while the student is residing at Duke University or other institution (for example, during a study-abroad program) will be handled by the host institution according to the host institution’s policies, although DKU reserves the option to investigate the case and impose additional penalties if such action is deemed warranted.

Plagiarism Frequently Asked Questions

Plagiarism means using another’s words or ideas without proper acknowledgment. Plagiarism takes many forms, including the unacknowledged copying of phrases or texts, or the use of ideas without indicating the source. This includes having someone else do your work, copying from someone else, or copying words and phrases from the Internet or other sources without proper citation. Facts not considered to be common knowledge must also be properly acknowledged.

Plagiarism is considered a violation of academic integrity and of the DKU community standard. It is as serious as cheating in an exam. A first offence will normally be dealt with by your professor and may result in a reduction in grade. A second offence will be reviewed by the University Academic Review Board and, if you are found responsible, will be recorded on your permanent record. Serious violations can result in being required to withdraw from the university.

When including words or ideas that are not your own, acknowledge whose they are and put verbatim (exact, word-for-word) text in quotation marks.

Some facts that are considered common knowledge do not need to be cited, but you will not be penalized if you do use a citation to acknowledge where you verified a fact.


  • Obey this safe rule of thumb: when in doubt, cite.
  • Talk to your professor about what sources are allowed, what citation style s/he prefers, and any questions you might have about citation.
  • Visit for resources about citing properly and avoiding plagiarism.
  • Other resources include

Excerpt from Daniel Boorstin’s The Americans: The Colonial Experience2


“The Quakers lacked neither courage nor energy. It was not so much the actual content of their creed as it was the uncompromising obstinacy with which they hung on to it and their attitude toward themselves, which were decisive. The two flaws fatal to the influence of this remarkable people on American culture were, first an urge toward martyrdom, and a preoccupation with the purity of their own souls; and second, a rigidity in all their beliefs. The first led their vision away from community and inward to themselves; the second hardened them against the ordinary accommodations of this world. Neither the martyr nor the doctrinaire could flourish on America soil.”


Example of Verbatim Plagiarism of Boorstin


The Quakers were both energetic and courageous. It was not so much the content of their belief as the uncompromising stubbornness with which they clung to it and their attitude toward themselves, which were decisive. The two problems that prevented the influence of these remarkable people on American culture were 1) urge toward martyrdom, and a preoccupation with personal spiritual purity and 2) a rigidity in all their beliefs. The first pushed their vision away from society and inward to themselves; the second hardened them against the ordinary accommodations of this world. Neither the martyr nor the doctrinaire could prosper in America.

Explanation: Even though the writer makes a variety of word substitutions, this is a compelling example of plagiarism. The passage is in no way the writer’s own work, since neither the language nor the ideas are original. It would still be plagiarism even if the source were indicated because it presents Boorstin’s words as the writer’s own without quotation marks.


Example of Plagiarism of Boorstin’s Ideas

Although the Quakers possessed various important virtues, principally courage and energy, a strong adherence to their creed posed two barriers to their leaving a lasting impact on American cultural history. A tendency toward individual sacrifice and martyrdom prevented them from forming communities, while their inflexible spirituality made them intolerant of the ways of others.

Explanation: The student generally manages to avoid Boorstin’s phrasing and language and to reorder the sentences and clauses. But, the student fails to acknowledge that the pair of causes of the limited cultural effect of Quakerism is derived from Boorstin’s analysis. The idea is plagiarized even though the language is not parallel. The writer needs to indicate the source, either through a footnote or an in-text citation.


Example of Proper Use and Acknowledgment


Daniel Boorstin claims that the Quakers had little permanent effect on American culture and identifies two related “flaws” of self- centeredness in their outlook: “an urge toward martyrdom… [and] a rigidity in all their beliefs.” He feels that these qualities made them inflexibly asocial, unable to adapt to what he calls, “the ordinary accommodations of this world.”3 While stressing the introversion of the Quaker worldview, though, he underestimates the extraordinary communal energy that it produced. The qualities he describes produced a highly functional – though admittedly self-contained and isolate – social subculture, dependent largely upon itself, which has persisted throughout American history.


Explanation: The writer has quoted some of Boorstin’s prose directly and has paraphrased other ideas and cited this use.  Note that proper citation format varies by discipline.  Be sure to ask your professor what style he or she would like you to use.

TurnItIn Feedback Studio is a program built into Sakai that is available in all courses at DKU if your professor allows it. It allows you to check your work against a database of academic materials before submitting it to your professor. TurnItIn is not foolproof, but it is a useful tool that can help you to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent plagiarism. Regardless of whether you use TurnItIn, you are ultimately responsible for your own work.

  • Many academic integrity violations occur when students are under pressure. Plan ahead and try to complete your work well before the deadline.
  • Be careful to cite—including your own work! If in doubt whether a citation is necessary, it probably is!
  • Keep careful notes on any research, clearly recording all sources. Save these notes until after the paper or project is graded
  • Save copies of your rough drafts. When editing, create new versions instead of overwriting the old ones. Save these until after the paper or project is graded.
  • Different faculty might have different expectations regarding collaboration. One faculty member might use peer editing as a teaching tool, while another might not allow you to discuss or review an assignment with any other students. If in doubt about who you can discuss with, ask!
  • Do not use old tests, quizzes, assignments, lab reports from other students unless you have explicit permission from the instructor to use such resources.
  • Do not use translation tools. Translation tools rely on existing documents to produce statistically likely translations of your text and may result in your inadvertently plagiarizing a source that you are not aware of. Instead, you should look up individual words and create your own original translation.
  • Even if you feel stressed over an assignment or rushed to meet an approaching deadline, it is better to hand in a rough draft or incomplete assignment, ask for an extension, or take a late penalty than to plagiarize or cheat
  • Learning is much more important than grades! A poor grade on an assignment is okay! We learn from our mistakes. We do NOT learn from cheating.
  • Consider your personal integrity and that of the institution. Who are DKU graduates? What does a DKU degree represent?

Please contact Paul Stanley, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, to report any suspected academic integrity violations.

1 Excerpted from the Executive Committee of the Student Body of Washington and Lee University Plagiarism Pamphlet,

2 Daniel Boorstin, The Americans: The Colonial Experience (New York: Random House, 1958) 34.

3 Daniel Boorstin, The Americans: The Colonial Experience (New York: Random House, 1958) 34.


In matters of employment, admission, campus life and academics, DKU will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic origin, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, or age.